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How to feild dress a grouse!

17 posts in this topic

If any one would like to know how!

Stand with all your body weight on the cocks feet. Be careful not to step on the tail.

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Gripping the birds shoulders, pull firmly and steadily upward. Don't yank it. Just slowly pull until you feel the tendons separating and releasing the organs from the breast.

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Make sure the breast came up with you, and didn't get left down there in the dirt.

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Remove the nerve cord and any remaining organs.

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This is mostly out of interest. But you can open the gullet sack and see everything that the bird has been eating. Mostly leaves and berries. You should see the gullet sack right down the birds neck, from where you removed the head.

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Grip just below the shoulder and give the wing a twist to feel the lower joint separate. Twist it again until the wing breaks free.

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Pull any feathers or organs off of the breast, until it is generally clean. Wipe yer hands across yer jeans to remove any blood.

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A good explanation with visuals, NICE grin.gif

I have done it many times, I opened this becuase I thought you were going to ask how. Whoa was I wrong. wink.gif

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Does that work for pheasant's too?

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I am not sure?

I do not hunt for pheasant's! Thus I have never field dressed on yet!

Grouse only! I like hunting for grouse more than any other hunting out there!

I have too many irons in the fire with outdoor sports! Any chance I get, I go grouse hunting!

P.S.,

Thanks, I figure helping people is the key to this web site. It could be second nature for some and a total differnt world for others.

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Thanks for the quick lesson, now if someone could go over pheasant, squirrel, turkey and deer. I might have some idea

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You can also have the same "gutting" effect by standing on the shoulders/wings of the bird and pulling straight up on the legs. This is how I do it, and it seems to work alot easier.

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Ditto! cool.gif

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I do the stand on wings pull on feet method for both grouse and pheasants. Works well on both birds.

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I too stand on the wings and pull the feet,seems a little easier.

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That way works well on pheasants...but do it sooner rather than later...if the pheasant sits in the back of the truck for more than a few hours, it gets more difficult....

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Ya, one can do it wither way!

It gets you to the same point, just taking a differnent direction!

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Ive never seen anyone step on the feet. Ive always stepped on the wings.

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Well, now you just did! grin.gif

I have found it is easier to step on feet and pull with wings. Gives you better gripping points and makes a better tear for breast to pop out. I feel its all around a quicker, easier and cleaner way to feild dress! IMO

Note: When you step on wings and pull up with feet, the breast stays down with wings and will flop into dirt. The main reason I pull wings and step on birds feet is breat comes up with wings, instead of falling onto ground. You can do it wither way, but this is just what I have found!

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I just lay it down and skin it, i tie flies so i skin very carefully, i guess thats why i don't do the feet or wings method.. But i think i might want to try the wings method thanks for sharing..

I used to do lots of squirrels, i use the tails for mepps i also home tie lures for them in wis and send them to there.

Heres a story that tells you how to skin squirrels.. hope you like it..

If you are going to hunt . . . you need to know how to skin squirrels," my dad said, sliding the blade of his old bone-handled pocketknife over a hand-held stone.

"There!" he said, a few minutes later, slicing a strip of paper off like it had been cut with scissors. "We can skin your squirrel with this knife."

I don't know how old I was at the time, but I had returned home at mid-afternoon from one of my earliest solo squirrel hunts. And I had my first squirrel.

There a problem had cropped up. I didn't know how to skin a squirrel, nor did any of the neighborhood men.

"We will just have to keep it in a cool place until your dad comes home from work," my mother said.

Testing the sharpness of his bone-handled pocketknife with a gentle touch of his thumb, my dad took my squirrel--now dead for several hours and rather stiff. He grasped the back legs with one hand, the front legs with the other, and stretched the animal that had curled a bit as it cooled.

He placed the animal belly-down on the hard surface of the back-yard sidewalk, and placed his right foot firmly on the back feet of the belly-down squirrel (see illustration, Step 1). Then, holding the squirrel's tail forward along its back, he pulled the hair away from a spot just above where the tail joined the body.

"This is important," he said of the next thing he would do. "Cut off the squirrel's tail and you have all kinds of problems."

With that admonition, he placed the razor-sharp surface of the knife blade against the skin on the underside of the squirrel's tail (Step 2) and started a gentle sawing motion through skin, flesh and bone until the tail was almost severed (a strip of skin half an inch wide remained uncut at the top edge of the tail, keeping the tail firmly attached to the body).

Then, grasping the tail firmly with his left hand, he pulled steadily forward while running the edge of the knife blade back and forth to remove the skin from a strip of the squirrel's back. The strip of skin was roughly an inch wide and 2 ½ (two-and-one-half) inches long. The tail still was firmly attached to the strip of skin, now loose from the animal.

With his right foot still planted firmly on the belly-down squirrel's back feet, he inserted the point of the knife blade between the tissue of the back and the skin at the forward point of the quadrangle of bare meat. Then, being cautious to avoid cutting the side tissue of the squirrel, he made a single diagonally-forward cut that extended about two inches. He made the same cut at the other forward corner of the quadrangle.

Then, with knife on the concrete, he placed his right foot on the tail and loose quadrangle of skin to hold it against the sidewalk (Step 3). He pulled up steadily on the back legs until the forward part of the back and stomach emerged partially from the skin. Keep the foot as far forward on the skin as possible because the tail will break away from the skin of the back easily.

Hooking an index finger in the crook (elbow) of both front legs (one at a time), he pulled them free of the skin and cut off both front legs at the point where they joined the feet. Another pull left the squirrel's head inside the skin.

However, there still was a "V" of skin on the squirrel's belly and on both back legs (Step 4). To free this part of the squirrel from that skin, he grasped the point of the "V" of skin on the belly (Step 5) between his thumb and the knife blade (his foot still holding the tail section of the skin against the concrete). When the "V" of skin was loose enough to be held with the fingers and thumbs of both hands, a steady upward pull shucked out the last of the back legs of the squirrel.

Turning the squirrel belly up (skin dangling from both ends) he handed me the back legs to hold while he removed the entrails and cut off the head and back feet.

After removing the genitals, he made a deep cut between the back legs and broke the pelvic girdle apart by pulling the legs backward. This exposed the anal intestine, which he pulled out. Then with two fingers inside the cut, which opened the body cavity between the back legs, he inserted the knife blade and split the belly tissue to and through the rib cage. His fingers kept the intestines away from the knife blade.

With the body cavity opened, he pulled out all vital organs, the stomach and intestines. Then, in three swift cuts, removed both back feet and the head, which still was attached to the forward part of the skin.

The entire skinning operation must have taken less than two minutes.

Bill Scifres spider-duck.jpg

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here ya go..

HANGING

Most Game is best after hanging - that is leaving or hanging in cool conditions before plucking or skinning. This should be for a minimum two days to a maximum of three weeks in winter. I would tend to settle on seven days provided the weather is not hot. Game tends to be tougher than other meat or poultry as the animals were wild and muscles were used more in the process of survival. Hanging will help tenderize the meat and develop a characteristic gamey flavor. This is caused by enzymic and bacterial action. The longer you hang it the stronger the flavor.

SKINNING

The easiest way to prepare a pheasant is to skin it. After hanging separate the feathers along the back of the bird and cut the skin along its length, lift and pull it off feather and all.

The disadvantage of this method is that you are left with a skinless bird -ie not suitable for roasting without coating with fat/ bacon to prevent drying out - but it does avoid the messiness of plucking - the feathers get every where!

PLUCKING

1 Dip your hands in water

2 start plucking from the breast working towards the neck pulling the feathers in the direction they grow so that the skin does not break.

3 Turn the bird around and pluck away from you

4. Cut through the middle wing joint to remove it : Stretch out the wings and and pluck the feathers

5. Pull out leg and tail feathers

6. The small pin feather along the back bone are best removed by tweezers.

NOTE: If the feathers are too hard to remove you can immerse the bird in boiled water off the heat for 30 seconds - though the bird must then be cooked immediately

DRAWING

Having hung and plucked or skinned the bird/s the next stage is to draw it, namely to remove the innards.

The object of this exercise is to attempt to remove the intestinal sack intact.

Removing the neck & head

If you have plucked the bird place the bird on its back and cut along the neck skin the the point where it joins the body. Leaving plenty of skin to cover the neck cut through the neck of the bird removing it and the head.

Strip out the gullet, crop and windpipe, insert a finger and loosen rotate it gently to break all attachments and free organs particularly the lungs.

Removing the innards

With a sharp knife cut through the skin around the vent (anus) of the bird until it comes loose. Insert your fingers into the body cavity and draw out the innards. With practice you can pull them out in one, at first attempt you may need to scrape around a bit.

Wash and dry the body cavity and salt it.

Note: The liver minus the green gall bladder can be kept and eaten

Roasting

Game birds are traditionally served rare with the breast pink and juicy, the legs are always rather chewy and can be reserved for stewing. You may want to marinate the bird to help tenderize in red or white wine although this will alter the flavor.

Barding - covering the breast with a sheet of pork fat or bacon and tying it on helps retain moisture.

Trussing - trussing or tying the bird helps keeps it shape and provides for more even cooking

Roast at around 200ºC-230ºC 400-450ºF Gas 6-8 allowing 12- 15 minutes per 500g/1 lb for rare - 20 minutes for well done.

Additional Notes:

Traditionally wild birds are hung before plucking, drawing and cleaning ie innards still intact. They are suspended by the neck in a cool, airy place, to tenderize the meat and develop flavor as the deterioration process begins. Opinions vary on how long to hang a bird or whether to hang game at all. Hanging time depends on the weather - pheasant can be hung for up to three weeks in cold weather but if its is warm two or three days are sufficient.

When drawing the bird care should be taken to prevent the intestinal sack splitting and the cavity should be thoroughly washed and dried prior to cooking.

Sources: Advanced Practical Cookery: Ceserani, Kinton and Foskett and La Varenne: Complete Guide to Cookery

Nowadays Hygiene concerns give guidance that Game wounded in the belly or damaged by lead shot should never be hung as it will rot very quickly, furthermore large game is now often drawn as quickly as possible.

Source: Larouse Gastronomique

Remember:

* The object is to help tenderize and flavor, removing the innards will give a milder flavor when hanging and is safer.

* A young bird will need less hanging than an old one.

* Storage in a cold place is safer.

* Slow cooking will tenderize the meat and reduce the need for hanging but may dry out the breast a bit but you can make a great gamey sauce to compensate for this!

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FYI! If you don't take the legs with you, you may be tagged for wanton waste. My friend was tagged a few years ago.

Try this on pheasant or grouse:

Skin the bird. Cut-off unnecessary limbs. Put the breast in one hand. Insert shears in butt of bird and cut along one side of spine all the way through shoulder area. Do the same along the other side of the spine. Pull the head/neck down and most of the entrails will fall-out. You may need to pull lungs and trim membrane around butt. This was shown to me by a motel owner in Oskaloosa IA. It is fast, you don't waste meat, and it's not messy. Sorry, no pictures frown.gif

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Using the shears is how we do pheasants for travel from SoDak, just leave one full leg with foot on, you can skin, trimm the head and wings, shear cut by the backbone and then gut. Keeps you legal for travel. In MN I just skin the pheasant, breast it out, take the legs - you never have to get into those 'shot with a shotgun' guts!

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